After reading Dr. Gillis’ blog post In-NO-vation, I had the urge to resurrect my 1995 doctoral dissertation: The Relationship between Psychosocial Development and Divergent Production in Older Adults. Just academic words for the relationship between human development (measured as psychosocial development) and creativity (measured as divergent thinking) of adults aged 50+. So, what did I find back in the day? Overall, I found that there was no relationship between human psychosocial development, in aggregate, and creativity, but at certain stages of development, there are significant relationships.
That is, my data revealed that different creative abilities are maximized at different points in the human life cycle. Researchers still argue whether creativity occurs across the life span or only at certain developmental points. The reality is that the environmental and cultural milieu contributes to creative expression, which I did not factor in or out in my 1995 research. We can all be creative at the right time and in the right environment. Remember necessity of the mother of invention.
The key to an organization’s success and survival is flexibility based on knowledge and skills. In L&D, we know people ability determines the success of the organization. Organizations embed knowledge in their people Thus, the importance of creativity is not only that if facilitates upward thinking but contributes towards the development of innovative knowledge, which drives success.
So, don’t let your organization put the “NO” in in-NO-vation. Intentionally create an innovative environment to drive innovation, regardless of your generational workforce.